The magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
The magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan

UK arts events in Japan


Swiss Army Man

Written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, this comedy–drama tells the story of Hank, a man lost on an island. Just as he is about to kill himself, he sees a body wash up on the shore. The dead body, played by British actor Daniel Radcliffe, appears to possess a variety of strange powers that Hank can use to help him get off the island and make his way back to civilisation.
The film won the Best Director Award in the US Dramatic category at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

PHOTO: © 2016 Ironworks Productions, LLC.

City Tokyo
Date From 22 September
Schedule Various times
Address Toho Cinemas Chanter
(Among other locations)
Hibiya Chanter, 1-2-2 Yurakucho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-5521-8048
Price Adults: from ¥1,800

More events


Fear in Painting

Kyoko Nakano, a writer and German literature scholar, published Kowai-e (Fear in Painting) in 2007. The book focuses on famous and historic Western paintings featuring images of fear. In recognition of the 10th anniversary of Nakano’s book, an exhibition will be held showcasing a number of the masterpieces discussed, including The Execution of Lady Jane Grey from the National Gallery in London.


City Tokyo
Date Until 17 December
Schedule Various times
Address The Ueno Royal Museum
1-2 Ueno Koen
Taito-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-5777-8600
Price Adults: ¥1,600


alt-J are an English indie rock band that formed in 2007 in Leeds. The band’s debut album, An Awesome Wave, was released in May 2012 and won the Mercury Prize. Their second album, This Is All Yours, was released in September 2014 and went straight to number one in the UK. Having released their third and newest album earlier this year, alt-J are now touring RELAXER, with one night only in Japan.

City Tokyo
Date 24 November
Schedule Doors open: 6pm
Address Akasaka BLITZ
5-3-2 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3499-6669
Price Adults: from ¥7,000

Violin Recital by Michiko Kobayashi

London-educated violinist Michiko Kobayashi has been introducing pieces by British composers to Japanese audiences from the time of her debut in 2004. Since taking up the violin at the age of five, Kobayashi has won numerous awards in Japan and abroad, including a silver medal at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Kobayashi’s repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary and she has performed extensively in London and Japan.


Date 26 November
Schedule 2pm
Address Tokyo Opera City Recital Hall
3-20-2 Nishi-Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Price Adults: ¥4,000

The Caretaker

The Caretaker is a three-act play by the Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor Harold Pinter. The play was Pinter’s first commercial success and remains one of his most celebrated and frequently performed plays. The story takes place in a house in west London during the 1950s and examines the strange relationship between a tramp, Davies, and two damaged and disconnected brothers, Mick and Aston.


City Tokyo
Date 26 November–17 December
Schedule Various times
Setagaya Public Theatre
4-1-1 Taishido
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-5432-1515
Price Adults: ¥6,500

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Based on the novel by the English writer Baroness Orczy, this Broadway musical tells the tale of the eponymous leader of a band of English aristocrats. Set during the time of The Terror in 18th-century France, the group seek to rescue their French counterparts before they can be killed by the country’s new revolutionary government.

City Tokyo
Date 20 November–5 December
Schedule Various Times
Address TBS Akasaka ACT Theater
5-3-2 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone 0570-077-039
Price Adults: ¥9,000

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

The film How to Talk to Girls at Parties is a British–American sci-fi romantic comedy that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Set in the 1970s, an alien touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants of the London suburb of Croydon.


City Tokyo
Date From 1 December
Schedule Various times
Address Shinjuku Piccadilly
(Among other locations)
3-15-15 Shinjuku
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-5367-1144
Price Adults: ¥1,800

Lady Bess

Based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I up until the age of 25, when she became queen, Lady Bess is a musical by Michael Junze and Sylvester Levay. The production, which premiered in Japan in 2014, is a fictionalised account of the monarch’s upbringing. This performance sees the return of Shuichiro Koike, who directed the premiere, along with the original cast.

City Tokyo
Date Until 18 November
Schedule Various times
Address Imperial Theatre
3-1-1 Marunouchi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3201-7777
Price Adults: from ¥4,000

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave

As part of a joint international project with the British Museum, the works of famed ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai are featured at this exhibition, which focuses on his original drawings from the last 30 years of his life. In addition to influencing Van Gogh and Monet, his piece Under a Wave off Kanagawa (also known as The Great Wave), is one of the best-known artworks in the world.

Under a Wave off Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai (about 1830–33)
© The Trustees of the British Museum. Acquired with the assistance of the Art Fund.

City Osaka
Date Until 19 November
Schedule Various times
Address ABENO HARUKAS Art Museum
1-1-43 Abenosuji
Abeno-ku, Osaka
Phone 06-4399-9050
Price Adults: ¥1,500

Windsor Chairs—British Chairs Admired by Japanese

Built from a seat of solid wood into which the chair back and legs are connected, Windsor chairs first appeared in Buckinghamshire. They came to be highly admired by the founders of the mingei craft movement, Yanagi Soetsu and Hamada Shoji, as well as stencil dyeing artist Keisuke Serizawa.

City Tokyo
Date Until 23 November
Schedule 10am–5pm (Last entry: 4:30pm; closed Mondays except for holidays, in which case closed the next day)
Address The Japan Folk Crafts Museum
4-3-33 Komaba
Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3467-4527
Price Adults: ¥1,100

One Green Bottle

This is an existential three-character tragicomedy, written by leading Japanese playwright and director Hideki Noda. In this English-language adaptation, the British actors Kathryn Hunter and Glyn Pritchard play the roles of father and daughter, respectively. Hideki Noda himself plays the mother, as he attempts to bring modern Japanese theatre to a wider international audience.

Art direction: Yuni Yoshida

City Tokyo
Date 28 October–19 November
Schedule Various times
Address Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre
1-8-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro
Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Phone 0570-010-296
Price Adults: ¥6,000

Bridge Street Market

Radio DJ Guy Perryman MBE is back with his annual British market-themed event in Tokyo. Perryman aims to recreate the feel of a true London market place, inspired by the exciting and creative vibes of those found in Covent Garden, Camden and Borough. This event, in the heart of Harajuku, aspires to act as a bridge between Japan and the rest of the world, creating a community spirit in Tokyo, and features artisan products from both Britain and Japan. The perfect way to start off the festive season.

City Tokyo
Date 18 November
Schedule 12pm–8pm
Address BA-TSU Art Gallery Omotesando
5-11-5 Jingumae
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Phone 03-3407-1145
Price Free entry